Transfer news: Gareth Bale may play in Tottenham friendly this week amid talks over £80m switch to Real Madrid

The Wales international is keen to move to the Bernabeu

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly for his first team at the club's training ground on Thursday against a non-League opponent which could yet give Gareth Bale the chance to play as he waits for Real Madrid to make a decisive move over his future.

The Spurs first team squad players have been given two days off after returning from Hong Kong on Monday but are back in training today. A Spurs XI will play against MK Dons in Milton Keynes today although it is not expected that Bale will feature in that match.

The 24-year-old had a glute injury during Spurs’ stay in Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy, which prevented him from playing but he is understood to be keen to get some match-time, in spite of the uncertainty over his future. The player himself has made it clear that he would like Spurs to agree a price with Madrid to facilitate a move.

The first-team game tomorrow is against a non-league opponent at Spurs’ training ground in Enfield. Bale has not played for Spurs since the friendly against Swindon Town on 16 July.

The player and his advisors have made it clear to the club that they want the move to Madrid to happen this summer. It is the expectation at the club that only a world-record breaking transfer of more than £80m will be acceptable to chairman Daniel Levy who is now back in Miami on holiday having been in London briefly at the weekend.

In the meantime, Madrid’s famous players past and present have lined up to endorse the club’s move for the Spurs winger. Zinedine Zidane, now an assistant to coach Carlo Ancelotti said in Los Angeles, where the club are currently based on tour, that the chance to play for Madrid came along “once in a lifetime”.

Zidane said: “It is not unusual when a player knows that Real Madrid are interested in them that they get excited. There is nothing more prestigious for a player to wear the white of Real Madrid.

“If he has expressed a desire to join Madrid then Tottenham should give him permission to speak with us. The chance to play for Real Madrid might only come around once in a player's lifetime - and it is understandable that Gareth doesn't want to miss out on it.

“This is modern football - you have to pay to get the best players in Europe. Last season Gareth was on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi. The best players can have not so great games - but change a game with a moment of brilliance. Those are the sort of players that win you Champions League's and League titles. 

“He is already one of the finest player in Europe and he has everything needed to become the best player in the world. It is a bit of a cliche - but it is true you become a better player playing with better players.”

The goalkeeper Iker Casillas said that Bale was “one of the top three or four best players in Europe”. He said: “It's normal that his name is being discussed because he has all the qualities a footballer needs.”

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits